This is a short review of the Lexar Professional 400x SDHC UHS-I Class 10 card, which I have been using for the past 6 months. I have owned 4 of these cards in 16GB capacity and decided to write a review after every single one of them failed. I have never had such problems with memory cards, especially those that have a “professional” label attached to them. So this is more of a warning to potential owners, rather than a full-blown review of a product.
When it comes to memory cards, the market is simply overflowed by so many different brands and different types of cards, that it can get quite overwhelming for a first time buyer. Out of all those brands, the two most popular ones in the USA are SanDisk and Lexar. They put a lot of effort into marketing their products, particularly in the professional photography arena. For years I have been relying on SanDisk cards and have owned many Compact Flash and SD cards from them. Perhaps I have been lucky, but during the last 7 years, I have never had a single SanDisk card fail (I still own some pretty old 2 GB SanDisk cards). So last year when there was a good promotion on Lexar Professional cards and after I heard so many good things about the brand, I decided to give Lexar a try and purchased four of the professional 400x SDHC class 10 cards.
The cards were nicely packaged and looked no different in quality to my eye than the SanDisk cards that I owned. So for the first month I was pretty happy with my purchase, thinking that I got good value by purchasing Lexar. However, after a short period of time, one of the cards would not go into my card reader anymore. When I checked the back of the card, one of the plastic pins broke off and was creating resistance. It was the first time when I saw a broken pin, so I simply removed the rest of it and continued using the card. In a period of less than 3 months, all other cards starting having exactly the same problem. The pins on most of them broke off from the top, but they were still usable. I did not pay much attention to the problem, since the cards themselves performed well until the next trouble came up – when inserting cards into my cameras, I got “protected card” errors. When I analyzed the cards, 3 of them had very loose write protect switches that protect and un-protect cards. Here is an image of one of the cards that shows broken pins and a loose write protect switch:
When I look at the back of my SanDisk cards and compare the two, the ones on the Lexar are much thinner and “plasticky” in comparison.
The last problem was encountered when I was recording a video for the sensor gel stick. My Nikon D600 would simply stop recording after 30-45 seconds. After trying several times, it finally gave me a strange memory failure error. The card that I had in it failed. Thankfully, it was not anything important and I simply had to re-record the video.
While I always do my best to write to two cards on important client work, I just cannot risk potential failure on two of them at the same time. Judging by the failure rates of these cards, it is certainly a probability. I ended up replacing all 4 cards with SanDisk 16GB Extreme Pro cards, the same ones I have been recommending and buying for a while.
One important note that I want to add, is that I did not write this review to say that ALL of Lexar products are bad. Many people swear by Lexar’s cards and I do not doubt that Lexar makes good quality products. It is just that this particular product is the one that let me down. In fact, it could be a particular batch that was defective within the “Professional 400x” SD card line. The label on the back says “Made in Korea” and there are a bunch of numbers engraved there: “GCY3471D19”, “31368-C10-16GBM B” and “3612B”. My guess is that the first part is the serial number, the second is the part number and the third is the manufacturing plant number. All four were purchased from B&H Photo Video, so they are not fake. These professional series cards come with a limited lifetime warranty, so I have already contacted Lexar to see what they say.
Do you own Lexar SD cards? If you do, have you had a problem with broken pins or loose write protect switches? Please let us know below!
Lexar Professional 400x SDHC Card
- Build Quality
- Packaging and Manual
- Speed and Performance
Photography Life Overall Rating
I have the same sd card, cannot be formated, only RAW..
all after one month, no warranty, no exchange, no tools to format from Lexar..
Bit late on this one but i have also had horror stories with Lexar! Been a professional photogrpaher for over 20 years and until about a year ago never had a sandisk card fail. I purchased Lexar 1066x 16gb cf cards and 6 failed on me! Thankfully i use 2xd4’s so everything was backed up on QXD! I have religious card management, never fill a card., wait till buffer is clear etc etc but 6 cards! . The customer service is awful and i am about to switch back to sandisk!
The lexar recovery service is also not existent!
Just my 2 pennies worth!
Guys, the moment you have any trouble with the card – copy everything and throw it away. It’s just ain’t worth the risk.
/me being smartass
Ok I didnt know where to ask this question but ill try it here anyways even if I know this is an old post.
When I bought my d7000 I decided to buy many memory cards since I sometimes travel and travel light and I dont bring laptops or anything to empty my memory cards while travelling I know it is a bad idea not to backup anything but when you backpack you need to make some choices and it is not the subject of this comment.
When I bought many memory cards 3 years ago the guy at the store told me that those 60 mb/s where fine and that I would not need anything better (without mentionning the type of camera I have) .
Lately I’ve bought a used a d7100 since my D7000 is starting to give up on me thats when I’ve figured that his advice werent that good because those card are slow I mean really slow with the D7100 I then read that I needed 80mb/s (sandisk) wich is supposedly almost has fast has the 95mb/s ( so the 95mb/s is not really worth the extra!??) to really have the write speed I need for full speed potential of the d7100 or for my second camera that will be the d750 sometimes in a year or so.
Now my question is should I go with the 80mb/s, 95mb/s or should I buy the 280mb/s so ill be done with it for a couple years??? This is kind of frustrating since I paisd a lot of money for all my memory cards and now they are pretty much worthless . So what if I buy 95mb/s cards and then in two years the come out with a d400 or a d7xx and then my 80mb/s or 95mb/s are worthless because every camera will use the UHS-II???. So people will say oh memory is dirt cheap well let me tell you that I dont think 80$ a card here in Canada (95mb/s is dirt cheap) people have so much money that they have no idea of the value of money nowadays and they thow it out the window while some others arent even able to eat.
Anyway if somebody could enlighten me o the subject that would be very appreciated.
I have only begun to use SD cards last year when I purchased my Fuji X-Pro 1, and I will also use them of course in my new D810. Before that, I used only CF cards, in most bodies two of them side by side. All those cards ever were Lexar, since I purchased my first digital Nikon (a D200) some years ago. With none of those CF Lexars have I ever encountered any kind of problem whatsoever, and believe me, I don’t baby my gear.
I know SanDisk is very good as well. It’s just that I’ve been loyal to Lexar for all those years because they’ve never let me down. Now, the bad case you encountered looks a bit like counterfeit product. Have you checked that avenue?
I’ve been having card errors on the D600 for a couple of months and thought it was the body since the problems began after it got serviced. I have two 32GB Lexar Professional Platinum cards failing in camera and in card readers. Problem solved by using Sandisk Extreme cards, which have never failed me.
I bought a new SD card Lexar Profesional 32 GB. It stops working after 3 days of use. Will switch to SanDisk…
I use a 16 GB 400x speed in my Nikon 1 J1. Today I lost ALL my photo’s that were on this card for the SECOND time in 6 months! They were just gone. These were photos of my traveling. Irreplaceable.
I had a total check on my camera the first time it happened so that can’t be the problem.
I have just ordered one of those new metal Samsung cards which claim to be everything-proof. I suspect they are robust but slow. I will report back!
Same here, lexar 600 MICRO SD HC CAT 10.
Contact pins copper went off, so card is not recognized by just any card reader.
I just made a super important air plane shooting of an amazing island by a great weather, and i thought I could count on Lexar.
I have no more access to the card while all my pics are inside. I am left with either paying for a costly service to transfer the data I have inside to another card, or wait for nice weather and make the shooting again. In both cases this is going to cost me hundreds of dollars.
I will forget about Lexar from now on.